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Light Switch Time Capsule 


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Light Switch Time Capsule 

Written By: Sean Michael Ragan 



• Computer and printer (1) 

! • Label C\) 

• Small Flathead Screwdriver (1) 

I • Light switch plate (1) 

• X-Acto knife (1) 


I get nostalgic when I move out of a home, especially if it's one I've lived in awhile. Leaving a 
secret treasure or two, stashed here and there, seems to help me get closure. Unlike, say, 
dropping a note down inside the wall, a note on the back of a switch plate is likely to be 
found sooner or later, but not right away. I've included a PDF template with a tiny font that 
makes it easy to fit a 500-word message on the back of a standard light switch plate. 

Update: Thanks to reader Cornflower who created an OpenOffice version of the template for 
those of you who prefer it. Also, his version automatically wraps text across the openings! 

© Make Projects 

Page 1 of 5 

Light Switch Time Capsule 

v> Lirfrl "Emfch Tinw C-ufufe Cow - Grata Dwp - M«dzi*-« FfbFck 

fit £* Vuih Hijlttf IwfcmiV: !«*• tW> 
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seflnmichaelragan@gmBil,com | Selling? ¥ | Sign oU 

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File Edit View Insert Format Tools Table Hety> 
P fliQ* Normal text -r Anal 

seanmlehaelragan is viewing 

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I lived in this place from 2006 to 2010. It was the first home I ever owned, and, depending on 
when you read this, I might still own it. My plan, at least, on moving out, was to rent it for 
awhile. I lived here for four years while attending graduate school at LIT, in the Chemistry 
department. Organic division. I had some gloriously good times here, and some pretty 
miserable lows, but all-in-all this place was good to me. I made some friends among the 
neighbors, and some enemies. I loved the location (except for the proximity of the bus stop, 
which got pretty annoying on the weekends), and walking back and forth to class every day, I 
made friends among the staff at the convenience store there at 26th and Guadalupe, and 
stumbled home from many a drunken show at Hole in the Wall. I was involved with four 
women during the time I lived here, all of whom are still my friends. The first one decided she 
wanted to paint the ceilings, and got about halfway done downstairs before losing interest in 
the project. For all the time I lived here, the ceiling in the living room was half white, half 
mustard yellow. The same woman also refinished the mantle, which was spray-painted flat 
black when I moved in. She scrubbed the paint off and discovered the lovely stained wood 


• Write your note to the future in your 
text editor of choice. The template 
should accept about 500 words. 

Be sure to include the date! 


■ — .- H 


._— .^ Hi 'ny bi j ^«^— ■pari-- •_,«- 

_ J 1— ,. .. £j — — *"— - 

- . 1 — . -s i — _ <— _. - >*- 

n .tfi hb>HH cvk* gw 

r I W th <— ■! '■ 
IT- 1 £J> *■ 

* ■■ ij i- >~ ta ,_„■:■■»:■ 

ib«pnMiikH»4lblM IwhIvwIhi 
w+± I hri>>« Cj hf.w>^ hbb^ p cfjoi KfcJ^W.Wl 

i rti k rt r^^r^^m "rtfr l B#¥"T^i' ^ F^ pi«**pi*P¥ hfl-riri 

^>l^d |iJ| JMMjJfl W Wm I ' " m jw\ ■ ■A^jLUu vhri IklU ilwi ini F Ji, I 
WmM ■'■■'h iliVuM dill M Tm hTrf^hd *VI r»J f **- wd l*hilJ^J id 
Or -LAJ MMtHBI^ l4«ia«hJJ HATM fU IbH iTV»K A >JJ 

Hv^f qft^ h-^i I Kt-: Kt-p i> %-^ -^ :■- *-h v+f> '-■•r* "■■■ "hu eh efnM4M 
■ :k""J|^i i*d j.- i--:-j»v- ,, Hii tetwn H'-y-i »v*vp ■▼^■ih r 
Pit rtM rm-l hri^i -^ r+^?-> i^ iv rq - W r-« u ^^i- M ^ k*- 

■ r.vnK I Iwratain 

H— — i |K»»»I»-it 

^^M 1 UiJ "—■ MU JA^HatHBi^H 

' ■ trt i m r ■TjUPiiT wm ii "!■ 

hdirimM- / \HUmri«« 

■ ■ i — ■■»- kiririvdhti 

otm. r n u ^m I /■■! ^" ^"* ^"^"T 

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i - ■ 

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jM j j- +r pas 

• i iirrn 


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UtUU-H 1>B1 k^lt^l.^UI. UJ Uai 

*. ™" ■- .. — - .a' ' .pJkb 

[ ■' ■«'■ u 'wW» -n. HprhrfWn 

LHmprff / \*— "■■ L *»»lwi 

— — s w^ umuiM 


j l ■ni.^iT^^, 

In your text editor, select all text, and copy it to the clipboard. 

Open the PDF template attached to this project in Adobe Reader, click on the form, and 
paste the text into the single field. 

Try as I might, I couldn't figure out how to make the form text wrap around the screw and 
switch holes in the template. So you'll have to space your text around them manually using 
the space bar. 

Thanks to reader Cornflower, who produced an OpenOffice version of this template 
that automatically wraps text across the holes. See link above. 

© Make Projects 

Page 2 of 5 

Light Switch Time Capsule 

i cU c«Ms IM larich UN cuiti»41 rJ Aiefct I-.-***. 

Ffc t* *.#* Draawt I -m»j UWow h^ 


r* itf- $] 


ef^BT- ^ ^ |7~ 


«w mwwd. jt*i . <fcp*"*-g wi "the jou reri fi. ■ r™o"l 
iHnHtn W> piv> jtltHl mi motmflcf^ was lutein It tor 
awnfc- I bved here tor feu yeart whde aiif-ruWipgrjriLijfr- 

TraBtr ",mi..|ji, n 

Oji rti l i i 

: «mh • 

■:-j" *« in : Kofc^ri 


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9wiw+ *wcthr*Q*M9i nt 


*".-■ II >> 

re*>aiH.| *i-.ti-- I 

I to I <*•<.■ I 

tfl a '■•.-■■-,. f, i-,. .,,- I. ,.-, ?,-■■'■. ,•.'.-•!■: .!■'! 

maybe tafce j rwiiitc to leave one of your own uofnewbere 


PS rtalnhwrtlwlheal»j( 

JbM wia Mi wteh<w cmfc-tl rJ Aicbtlu^ki 

Hwdmthrsp»»e-rrwn2tt)6fci2ei(r l1n;hMh<FWI 

HHnmH My plan jtk-nl mi moms qui. warUa «ent* lor 
awhie I taed here tor feu yearc whde arcruWiggrjdLLirje 
ifnou iX LI. in the. CIkitmIiv dtpartnvHm. Organic dnftuon 
tWd *#"* !)l»*mJj 4M4 !»'"** fw*v. &*) Whiit iffriy 

nftrl*f ifrl* If^^t »^a ijl-^,al ihrt rjir* aM rtrjwl irt. m* I ^*art 


, | H0 * J >^1 

.nki 1BH-JT" 1111.' iimpif 'ini niwipj.n'i *i!,ri*-.-v 

renwAons Inn hew u p, -— ~ ap* y«i rare had swiw 
uw ^yHiipjm^nl <jl /^ Atum »op«My yw ivid. 
are having. andta wfl C J hawe as good ai bme here 

as 1 4M HcprUy, II Vy von 1 ™ ndkwd, vwil «* 
tits UtJe me caphite turn wn*f e ysu IoukI h. and 

maybe take ai mnute to leave one of you own Mmewhefe r 

PS yvalrh wit |w the ghaut 

• Open the print dialogue in Adobe Reader. 

• Make sure "Print Scaling" is set to "None." 

• Print the PDF onto a full-page, adhesive-backed mailing label 

Use a hobby knife with a straightedge to cut around the perimeter of the template, and to 
cut out the switch hole. 

Use the knife free-hand to cut out the circular holes for the mounting screws. 

© Make Projects 

Page 3 of 5 

Light Switch Time Capsule 

• If the plate is sealed in place with 
paint, first cut through the paint 
around the edge with a hobby knife. 

• Remove the screws from the light 
switch plate and set them aside. 

• The plate should come off the wall 
with very little prying. If it appears 
stuck, check again for a bead of 
paint around the edge. 

Remove the backing from the cut-out label and set it aside. 

Carefully apply the label to the back of the switch plate, being sure to avoid wrinkles. 

Smooth the label down using the waxy side of the scrap backing; this will help to prevent 
smearing the ink or toner. 

© Make Projects 

Page 4 of 5 

Light Switch Time Capsule 

• Put the plate back in place over the 

• Insert the screws and tighten down. 

This document was last generated on 201 2-1 0-30 05:1 4:23 PM. 

© Make Projects 

Page 5 of 5